Merdanya Monastery

Popular Name Merdanya
Orthodox Name St. Forty Martyrs
Region NC, Veliko Turnovo

The Merdanya monastery “St. Forty Martyrs” is situated in the eastern end of the village of Merdanya (Veliko Turnovo region), on the main road connecting the town of Veliko Turnovo with the town of Elena.

History and general info
Remains of a medieval monastery have been found about 1.5km away from the present-day monastery in an area called Ushite (the Ears). The old monastery was ruined down after Bulgaria had been conquered by the Ottoman Empire. The monastery properties were taken by Turkish ‘beys’ (administrators). A rich citizen of Elena bought out the former estates of the monastery in the middle of the 19th c. In 1853, a church and residential buildings were built by him and he himself became father superior of the newly opened monastery.

The church is a one-nave building with a spacious entrance and high dome. It is painted with frescoes after its restoration in 1982-1984. Representatives of the Tryavna school of arts painted some of the icons from the 19th c. During the Bulgarian people’s liberation struggle, the father superior, Kesarii Horozov, took part in the Velcho’s Plot, as well as became a close collaborator of Vassil Levski. Archimandrite Hadzhi Kesarii showed notable construction skills. He built the fountain in the yard as well as the high walls surrounding the monastery. The father superior also opened a religious evening school at the monastery.

After 1893, most of the monks left the monastery and it gradually decayed. Later it was repaired and was transformed into a female one – which it still is.
Accommodation and food
The monastery offers accommodation only to large groups (20-30 people) following preliminary booking.
The monastery is easy to reach down a good asphalt road. The monastery as well as the village of Merdanya lie on the main road connecting the towns of Veliko Turnovo and Elena.
+359 (0)619 279

For all your travel needs, contact Amadeus7 - touroperator in Bulgaria.
Send email to or call directly tel. +359 878 822 803.

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